A copyright case that Taylor Swift can’t seem to shake off!

Published: 14 Dec 2021

Taylor Swift faces a jury trial over allegations that she copied lyrics for her biggest selling single ‘shake it off’ from girl group 3LW’s minor hit ‘playa’s gon’ play’. 

The accusations reside on both tracks featuring variations of the phrases ‘players gonna play’ and ‘haters gonna hate’. 

See the side-by-side comparison of the contested lyrics below. 

Shake It Off LyricsPlayers Gon' Play Lyrics
'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play 
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate'
Playas, they gonna play 
And haters, they gonna hate 

An original ruling found that the lyrics were too “brief, unoriginal and uncreative” to gain protection under the copyright act, with the Judge citing 13 earlier songs with similar phrases. 

However, this verdict was successfully appealed, with the judge stating that the court could not determine that no juror could find substantial similarity in the lyrical phrasing and structure of the two songs. 

This means Swift’s team will need to convince a Jury that she has not infringed copyright with her 2014 hit single. 

 

What do you think? Has Taylor Swift infringed Copyright? 

Watch the music videos below:

Shake It Off LyricsPlayers Gon' Play Lyrics
'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play 
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate'
Playas, they gonna play 
And haters, they gonna hate 

An original ruling found that the lyrics were too “brief, unoriginal and uncreative” to gain protection under the copyright act, with the Judge citing 13 earlier songs with similar phrases. 

However, this verdict was successfully appealed, with the judge stating that the court could not determine that no juror could find substantial similarity in the lyrical phrasing and structure of the two songs. 

This means Swift’s team will need to convince a Jury that she has not infringed copyright with her 2014 hit single. 

What do you think? Has Taylor Swift infringed Copyright? 

Watch the music videos below:

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